Roy Burrell

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Roy Allen Burrell​

District 5 member of the
Caddo Parish Commission
(Shreveport, Louisiana)
In office
2016 – Term expires January 8, 2024

Louisiana State Representative for
District 2 (Caddo and Bossier parishes)​
In office
2004​ – 2016​
Preceded by Lydia Patrice Jackson​
Succeeded by Samuel Jenkins, Jr.​

District G member of
the Shreveport City Council​
In office
1994​ – 2002​
Preceded by Roy Cary​
Succeeded by Theron Jackson​

Born April 1952​
Oak Grove
West Carroll Parish
Louisiana, USA​
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Cathy Faye Ellis Burrell (married 2009)​ (not first wife)
Children Five children and step-children​

Woodrow and Margretter Feazell Burrell​

Residence Shreveport, Louisiana
Alma mater University of Louisiana at Monroe
Occupation Business consultant​

Former radio talk show host​

Roy Allen Burrell (born April 18, 1952)[1] is an African-American Democratic former state representative for District 2 in Caddo and Bossier parishes in northwestern Louisiana. A business consultant, Burrell in 2016 completed his third term in the state House and was ineligible to run again in the 2015 state primary.[2]


Burrell is a native of Oak Grove in West Carroll Parish in northeastern Louisiana. He is the eighth of fourteen children of the late Woodrow and Margretter Feazell Burrell. His father was a farmer who carried neighborhood children to and from school in the bed of a pickup truck before he was hired as a school bus driver for the West Carroll Parish School Board. Both of his parents were known for a spirit of community which they inculcated to their children.[3]

Burrell received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He and his wife, Cathy Faye Ellis Burrell (born September 1953), originally from Monroe, reside in Shreveport.[4] The Burrells met in college but did not marry until 2009. They have five adult children combined from previous marriages: Shon Dixon Pendleton, Roy Louis Burrell (born February 1977), Kenya Ellis (born December 1977), Neiman Allen Burrell (born October 1980), and Ryan Woodrow Burrell (born May 1982).[4][3]

Burrell is a retired planning engineer for BellSouth Telecommunications. He is a former radio talk show host on KDKS-FM in Blanchard in Caddo Parish, and a past columnist for the African-American newspaper, The Shreveport Sun.[4]

He is a former president of Delta Upsilon Lambda chapter of the historically black Alpha Phi Alpha, his college fraternity.[3] He is a former officer of the Queensborough Neighborhood Association,[4] located in the heart of Shreveport as defined by Jewella Avenue (west), Lakeshore Drive (north), and Interstate 20 (east and south).[3]

Previously, Burrell resided in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Bossier City, Louisiana; Glen Allen, near Richmond, Virginia, Fort Belvoir and Reston, Virginia, and Brookfield, in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, dates unavailable, all presumably before 1994.[5]

Political life

City government

Burrell formerly served on the Shreveport City Council.[4] In 1994, he polled 3,659 votes (61.8 percent) in District G, compared to 2,263 (38.2 percent) for his intra-party opponent, Samuel Lee "Sam" Jenkins, Jr.[6] On the council, Burrell developed a plan for increased African-American participation in government contracts. He worked to revitalize inner city neighborhoods, actions which led to the establishment of the Shreveport Redevelopment Agency, the Citywide Community Development Corporation, the Model Block Housing Development Project, and the Shreveport Urban Renaissance Corporation. In his second term on the council and as a representative, Burrell developed a close working relationship and friendship with Democratic former Mayor Keith Hightower.[3]

In 1998, Burrell easily won his second term on the city council when he defeated fellow Democrat Raymond Anthony Hicks (born May 1943), a former District 5 member of the Caddo Parish School Board, 3,796 votes (66.5 percent) to 1,912 votes (33.5 percent).[7]

Burrell co-founded and is a former director of the Inner City Entrepreneur Institute, or ICE, a non-profit organization and redevelopment initiative which focuses on business advocacy and development in the revitalization of inner city neighborhoods.[3] Each summer, ICE holds a two-week seminar for teenagers interested in pursuing a career as a business owner. In 2009, 2011, and 2012, Burrell's pay was some 70 percent of the income of the ICE organization. In 2007 and 2008, ICE did not raise enough revenue to match expenses, but Burrell was paid $50,400 in both years. Burrell's payments from ICE went to his consulting business, Best Communications and Management Service.[8]

State government

​ In 2003, Burrell handily won election to the District 2 state House seat vacated by Lydia P. Jackson, the daughter of a former state representative, Alphonse J. Jackson of Shreveport, who later relocated to Baton Rouge. Lydia Jackson was instead elected to the state Senate. Burrell defeated a Republican candidate, Martin Dale Bryant, 5,359 votes (81.3 percent) to 1,235 (18.7 percent).[9] In 2007, Burrell won by a similar margin over a fellow Democrat, Brian Hairston, 5,317 (86.4 percent) to 834 (13.6 percent)[10] Burrell was unopposed for his third term in 2011.[11][12]

Former Representative Burrell served on the Legislative Black Caucus, the Rural Caucus, and the Democratic Caucus. He sat on these committees: (1) Administration of Criminal Justice, (2) Appropriations, (3) Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs, (4) Joint Legislative Capital Outlay, and (5) Joint Legislative Budget.[2]

Burrell's legislative ratings ranged from 24 to 67 from the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. In 2012, the National Federation of Independent Business rated him 0 percent. In 2013 and 2014, the conservative Louisiana Family Forum scored him 56 and 40 percent, respectively. In 2013 and 2014, he was rated 100 percent by Louisiana Right to Life and the Louisiana Association of Educators. In 2006, he was ranked 64 percent by the Humane Society. Burrell carried the endorsement of the Louisiana Hospital Association.[13]

In 2014, Burrell co-sponsored the requirement that abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges near their clinics; only five House members opposed the measure. That same year, he co-sponsored the extension of time for implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. He voted to forbid the transportation of dogs in open truck beds on interstate highways. He voted for the repeal of state anti-sodomy laws; the measure failed in the House, 27-67.[14]

In 2013, Burrell did not vote on the matter of reducing penalties for the possession of marijuana; the bill passed the House, 54-38. In 2014, he opposed the use of concealed carry gun permits in restaurants that serve alcohol. In 2013, he voted against the issuance of permanent conceled carry permits. He opposed keeping information on concealed carry permits confidential and out of the public record; the bill nevertheless passed the House 76-18. He voted to increase judicial pay and to end the mandatory retirement age for judges. Burrell co-sponsored an "equal pay" plan for state employees.[14]

In 2012, Burrell co-sponsored legislation to provide for parole eligibility for non-violent inmates. He voted to prohibit the use of telephones and hand-held devices while driving. He opposed state tax incentives to recruit a National Basketball Association team to Louisiana and also opposed deductions on state income tax returns for taxpayers donating to scholarship funds. He opposed reducing the number of hours that polling locations remain open; Louisiana has traditionally had 14-hour polling days.[14]

In 2011, Burrell voted for a permanent tax on cigarettes. That year he supported the bill for parole eligibility for elderly inmates. He supported a bill whose supporters said would halt bullying in public schools; the bill failed, 43-54. He opposed the requirement for drug testing of welfare recipients. He voted against the establishment of a commission to develop a plan to abolish the state income tax. He opposed the redistricting bills for both the state Senate and the United States House of Representatives.[14]

Mayoral campaign abandoned

In 2014, Burrell announced on KEEL radio that he would run for mayor of Shreveport to succeed the term-limited African-American Cedric Glover. However, he soon withdrew on the grounds that a prior commitment to his friend, former Mayor Keith Hightower, made it impossible for him to run. Then Hightower, the mayor from 1998 to 2006, decided not to seek a comeback in the office.[15] One of Burrell's legislative colleagues, Patrick C. Williams, and former Burrell intra-party rival, Samuel Jenkins, Jr., were among several candidates who ran unsuccessfully for mayor. Victory went to still another African-American candidate, the retired educator Ollie Tyler, who served a single term from 2014 to 2018.​

Election to Caddo Parish Commission

Two Shreveport Democrats, Samuel Jenkins, Jr., and Terence Vinson, ran to succeed Burrell in the primary election for the state House held on October 24, 2015. Jenkins prevailed with 3,505 votes (60.6 percent) to Vinson's 2,282 (39.4 percent).[16] Burrell himself sought the District 5 seat on the Caddo Parish Commission in that same election. He ran without opposition.[17]


  1. Roy Burrell (Louisiana). Retrieved on May 31, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2024: Caddo and Bossier parishes. Louisiana House of Representatives. Retrieved on May 31, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Representative Roy A. Burrell, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, accessed April 29, 2015; no longer on-line.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Roy Burrell's Biography. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on May 31, 2020.
  5. Roy A. Burrell. Retrieved on May 31, 2020.
  6. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, October 1, 1994.
  7. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns (Caddo Parish), October 3, 1998.
  8. Gerry May (June 13, 2014). Burrell pockets big blocks of ICE non-profit money. KTBS-TV (ABC in Shreveport). Retrieved on May 31, 2020.
  9. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns (Legislative), October 4, 2003.
  10. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns (Caddo Parish), October 20, 2007.
  11. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns (Caddo Parish), October 22,2011,
  12. The Louisiana Secretary of State website does not list returns involving unopposed candidates.
  13. Roy Burrell's Ratings and Endorsements. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on May 31, 2020.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Roy Murrell's Voting Records. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on May 31, 2020.
  15. Erin McCarty (August 19, 2014). Roy Burrell Withdraws from Shreveport Mayor's Race. KEEL Radio. Retrieved on May 31, 2020.
  16. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns (Caddo Parish), October 24, 2015.
  17. Candidates Qualified in Statewide Elections. KEEL (AM) in Shreveport. Retrieved on May 31, 2020.